Stronger Together

Author: Sherrif Karamat       

Sherrif Karamat

Sherrif Karamat, CAE

We’re hard at work with Destinations International (DI) on next month’s Destination Showcase in Washington, D.C., with the goal of making this the preeminent event for event organizers and CVBs.

We’re calling 2020 “Year Zero.” As a first step, we’re revamping the education program — bringing in the cutting edge educational content for which we’re known. This year, for example, leadership expert Sara Ross, chief vitality officer at research and strategy firm BrainAMPED, will be the keynoter.

The full Destination Showcase redesign comes in 2021 when we launch an experiential marketplace where all sorts of organizations, industries, and destinations gather for education, inspiration, commerce, networking, and transformation.

This collaboration with longtime partner DI and leader Don Welsh is a natural fit. It’s a crucial moment for CVBs, which are becoming key to the evolution of our cities, especially as the world becomes more urbanized. CVBs are facing massive change as they shift from a focus on heads in beds to playing a greater economic development role. In addition, leading CVBs are positioning themselves to be the go-to resource for organizations who want their destination partner to help them grow their business — not just increase attendance at one event. Event organizers are asking CVBs: Are you connecting me with universities and research hubs and startups? Are you connecting me with governmental agencies that are thinking of growth in my sector? Does my event’s focus align with the city’s economic vitality?

As of this writing, Destinations Showcase 2020 was nearly sold out. We’re looking forward to digging into our plans for the 2021 event.

On another front, we have just inked an agreement with CEMA, the Corporate Events Marketing Association, which has spent three decades providing education, networking, and innovative ideas to the event marketing community. Our collaboration will enable our two organizations to share the best of our resources and knowledge with each other’s audiences — from webinars to online content to live events. Look for Convene to share more about this dynamic partnership in an upcoming issue.

Both of these initiatives demonstrate our belief that in order for the business events industry to progress as a whole, we must cultivate thoughtful collaborations. As we better understand the potential face-to-face events have to drive economic and social transformation, we realize that we are part of a complex web of organizations and entities — and that we need to work together for the common good.